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Going Microsoft free, like Mike

The real question Linux advocates need to answer is this. Can you go Microsoft-free and still get your work done?
Written by Dana Blankenhorn, Inactive

The real question Linux advocates need to answer is this. Can you go Microsoft-free and still get your work done?

Mike Kavis is trying to find out. Back in May he dumped his Windows desktop for Ubuntu and now he has launched a pilot program to take his employer in the same direction.

The biggest problem he has faced is that American business is still a Microsoft world, one which open source must live in. He has used Wine to gain access to Visio documents.  He's looking to Citrix servers, with clients on each Linux desktop, for other Microsoft-dependent applications.

In his most recent blog post about this he notes: 

An important requirement of this pilot is to make sure we address all of the desktop standards that are enforced on our Windows desktops. That means we must address desktop lockdowns, patch management, data encryption and cryptography, virus scanning, and many other security and management features. Our current action item is to review all of these standards and present how we will address each one on our Linux desktops.

This type of experiment is going on in lots of places. It takes skill and computing knowledge to pull it off. But as Mike notes it also takes skill and computing knowledge to run a Windows shop.

As I noted previously, I'm engaged in the same process. Step by step, application by application, I am weaning myself away from Microsoft.

Despite 25 years' experience writing about computing and open source, I'm still all thumbs with the innards of my machine. Protecting my stupidity gives me an affinity with ordinary users, and a real admiration for experts, just as sportswriters might admire Michael Jordan.

I'm not Microsoft-free yet but if I can do it, you can too. If Mike can do it, so can your enterprise.

I want to be like Mike. Do you?

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